The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, National Association of Broadcasters, and 50 minority and women CEOs representing over 140 AM radio stations across the nation, have been vocal proponents of concrete action from the Federal Communications Commission to revitalize AM radio and promote diverse broadcast ownership.  This week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai released a statement expressing strong support for AM revitalization and urging the other commissioners to decide where they stand on the issue.  Pai’s full statement is below.

WASHINGTON, October 1, 2015.—Yesterday, I proposed to my colleagues that we include in the AM radio revitalization item an exclusive window for AM broadcasters to obtain new FM translators. This was the lead proposal in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking unanimously adopted two years ago under the leadership of then-Acting Chairwoman Clyburn. It has received overwhelming support, including previously from a majority of the FCC’s current members.

The moment of decision has arrived; Commissioners will now have to decide with whom they will stand. Will they stand with AM broadcasters across the country? Will they stand with 50 CEOs of minority-owned AM radio licensees? Will they stand with the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters? Will they stand with the Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council? Will they stand with U.S. House of Representatives and Congressional Black Caucus members Yvette Clarke, Bobby Rush, G.K. Butterfield, Brenda Lawrence, Stacey Plaskett, Elijah Cummings, Andre Carson, Hakeem Jeffries, Donald Payne, Jr., Karen Bass, David Scott, and Marcia Fudge? Will they stand with former Commissioners Michael Copps and Robert McDowell? In short, will they stand for revitalization of a communications service that predates the FCC itself and has exemplified localism, competition, and diversity in broadcasting?

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On October 1, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed a joint letter with the Federal Communications Commission, urging the Commission to take steps to revitalize AM radio, which has had dangerously low levels of minority ownership since the FCC repealed its minority tax certificate policy in 1995. The full text of the letter is below. For more information on the tax certificate policy, AM translators, and other measures to promote diversity in broadcast ownership, please see Kim Keenan’s testimony before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, here

Spectrum AirwavesOctober 1, 2015
Marlene H. Dortch, Esq.
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington DC 20554

Re: Revitalization of the AM Radio Service, MB Docket No. 13-249, Notice of Ex Parte Communication

Dear Ms. Dortch:

The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) each appreciate the Commission’s, particularly the Media Bureau’s, ongoing efforts to help revitalize AM radio. AM service is an important part of how our local communities are informed and entertained and provides a critical entry point for those who seek to have their voices heard, including women and minorities. While we understand that Chairman Wheeler remains committed to his new 250-mile waiver proposal and recognize some value in that approach, we strongly urge the Commission to combine that initiative with an exclusive window for AM stations to obtain FM translators. AM radio service is already significantly hampered and minority ownership is at dangerously low levels. The AM-only window is the only way to ensure that small, rural and minority stations do not get left behind.

We remind the Commission that since the window was proposed two years ago, there has been no meaningful opposition to it. In addition, an AM-only window to obtain FM translators has garnered widespread support from nearly every corner. Dozens of minority broadcasters wrote the Commission recently detailing its importance to their businesses and to paving the way for future minority station owners. The Congressional Black Caucus leadership echoed this sentiment as well. Former Commissioners Michael Copps and Robert McDowell authored a bipartisan letter detailing just how critical an exclusive window is for small and minority AM broadcasters.  [click to continue…]

At 9:30 am today, MMTC President and CEO Kim M. Keenan will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, discussing “Broadcast Ownership in the 21st Century.”  Her full testimony is available below. More details and a full list of other speakers are available on the Subcommittee website, here.  The website will begin streaming live at the start of the hearing.

Capitol Hill - wallygINTRODUCTION

Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Eshoo, distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, and esteemed colleagues on the panel, I am honored to appear before the Subcommittee today to address this nation’s efforts to promote and preserve opportunities for diversity in the ownership of our nation’s airwaves.

My name is Kim Keenan, and I serve as President and CEO of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (“MMTC”), a national nonprofit founded 29 years ago to promote equal opportunity and social justice in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries.  MMTC proudly partners with dozens of national and local civil rights and advocacy organizations.  We have worked with both the private and public sectors to facilitate diverse ownership in the broadcast industry.  In an effort to do our part to increase minority broadcast ownership, MMTC’s nonprofit Media and Telecom Brokerage division has participated in nearly $2B in transactions, which represent nearly one-third of all broadcast station sales to women and people of color since 1997.

At MMTC, we believe that, consistent with the mandate of Sections 151, 257 and 309 of the Communications Act, our nation’s media must reflect the cultural and viewpoint diversity of our nation.  The late Dr. Everett C. Parker, one of MMTC’s co-founders and a minister for the United Church of Christ, who passed away last week at the age of 102, said he fought to desegregate radio and television stations because: “if we want the voiceless to have a voice that everyone can hear, we have to have robust minority broadcast ownership.  It is essential to our democracy.”  This message of advancing diverse media ownership still resonates as MMTC and other media advocates push for equity in representation and participation in the broadcasting industry.

For the purpose of  this hearing, I will address why minority ownership continues to lag in the broadcast industries, and close with an immediate opportunity available through the FCC’s current AM revitalization Notice that could foster meaningful engagement for minority broadcasters.  In reference to the House Background Memo, MMTC will not testify regarding cross-ownership and takes no position on the cross-ownership rule given the changes in the marketplace.  [click to continue…]

Everett ParkerWASHINGTON, D.C. (September 17, 2015):  This morning, MMTC co-founder Dr. Rev. Everett C. Parker passed away after a lifetime of work advocating for America’s voiceless and serving as a pioneer in communications policy reform that ensured those voices were included.  Dr. Parker developed the public interest standard in broadcast media and laid a foundation to make the nation’s communications industry more diverse and inclusive at a time when considering the interests of minorities was unpopular.

Dr. Parker blazed a trail in the 1950s when he founded the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication, focusing the Office’s efforts on ensuring that broadcasters did not suppress the voices and images of minorities on the air and provided news coverage and programming that served their communities of license.  Today, thanks to Dr. Parker’s work, the Federal Communications Commission requires all broadcast stations to serve the needs and interests of the communities to which they are licensed.  [click to continue…]

Net Neutrality Net Equality Connect InternetWASHINGTON, D.C. (September 2, 2015):  The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), the National Urban League, and 15 other national and regional civil rights, professional, intergovernmental, and community-based organizations filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission in support of the Commission’s efforts to modernize the Lifeline program to include subsidized access to high-speed broadband.  The filing’s 17 signators (collectively, “Lifeline Supporters”), representing tens of thousands of diverse voices across the nation, also include the NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Rainbow PUSH Coalition, among others.

The Lifeline program, established in 1985 to help low-income Americans access essential communications services they could not otherwise afford, currently covers landline telephones only and offers just one subsidy per household.  As the FCC has acknowledged, the telecommunications landscape is changing, with more households discontinuing landline telephone service and opting for mobile and broadband connections which have become essential factors toward success in today’s digital economy.  In addition to supporting the Commission’s efforts at modernizing the Lifeline program to include a subsidy for broadband Internet service, the Lifeline Supporters urged the agency to change the “one-per-household” rule to “one-per-adult” to accommodate household sharing trends among impoverished families (with multiple, unrelated adults living in one household) in order to ensure these individuals will qualify for the Lifeline program. [click to continue…]

Today, MMTC, along with 50 CEOs of minority-owned AM licensees who collectively own 140 AM radio stations across the nation, filed a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission to open an FM translator filing window that is limited to AM licensees.  The full text of the letter is below:

Radio DeeJay - Politic365August 31, 2015

Hon. Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554

Re:     AM Radio Revitalization, MB Docket No. 13-249

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

For 65 years, AM radio has been the technological gateway for entrepreneurs of color in broadcasting. Two-thirds of minority-owned broadcast stations are AM radio stations. As minority AM broadcast owners, we want nothing more than to improve our service to listeners. Thus, we appreciate your commitment to advance the long-pending AM Revitalization proceeding.

Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that you are considering a reversal of course regarding the most important, effective proposal set forth in the AM Revitalization Notice: opening an application filing window for FM translators that would be limited to AM broadcast licensees. As the Commission recognized in the Notice, the best way to help the largest number of AM stations to quickly and efficiently improve their service is to open such an AM-only window. Any other approach will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for AM stations, including many of our own, to obtain the translators they urgently need to remain competitive and provide our communities with the service they deserve. [click to continue…]

On August 26, MMTC, along with 25 other national civil rights and public interest organizations, filed the following letter with the Federal Communications Commission, urging the Commission to adopt multilingual EAS rules that could save lives in times of crisis.

August 26, 2015

RE:   Review of the Emergency Alert System (EB Docket No. 04-296); Recommendations of the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks (EB Docket 06-119)

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will be August 29, 2015.  The days leading up to, during, and after this natural disaster demonstrated the importance of multilingual emergency communications.  For the over 100,000 Louisianans not proficient in English, their world went dark that day and remained that way for many days.  These residents were unable to get answers to questions such as, “Where do I go to find shelter?” “How can I find my children?” and “Is the water safe to drink?”  For the terrified multitude taking refuge on rooftops as the water rose, there was often little hope for survival.

The penalty for an adult’s or child’s lack of English proficiency must never be death.

In many cities with large Latino, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese communities, few or no stations are broadcasting in those languages.  When Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans in 2005, the city’s only Spanish language station was damaged and could not return to the air for eight critical days.  During those eight days, over 100,000 Latinos had no landline service, no cellular telephony, no television, no radio, and no print media in their language.  The city’s Vietnamese communities also went dark and many of these residents had no means to communicate their need for medical assistance.  In a time of desperate need, finding medical facilities, shelter, food, and potable water was a matter of life and death for tens of thousands who were not fluent in English.  [click to continue…]

MMTC Co-Founder and President Emeritus David Honig wrote the following op-ed that appeared in Multichannel News this week, in response to former FCC official Adonis Hoffman’s post, “Don’t Hate the Players, Hate the Game,” criticizing the DE program. The original post is available here.

Designated Entity BidOn Aug. 10, my colleague and former Federal Communications Commission official Adonis Hoffman wrote for Multichannel News a commentary with a catchy title: “Don’t Hate the Players, Hate the Game.” Respectfully, Hoffman really missed the mark.

Hoffman maintains that the outcome of the recent AWS-3 auction, in which two minority-controlled partnerships with Dish Network secured $3 billion in bidding credits, was the result of poor FCC auction design. We don’t know yet if that’s true, because the FCC’s ruling is almost certain to be reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  So the fair thing for all of us to do is hold our fire, and in the meantime do our best to preserve and strengthen the program.

Bidding credits were part of Congress’ plan in 1993 when it gave the FCC spectrum auction authority. To ensure meaningful small business participation, the FCC created the Designated Entity (“DE”) program, which lets firms owned by people of color compete in the highly competitive, capital-intensive commercial wireless marketplace. Famously, T-Mobile began as a DE and, through innovation and investment, grew into one of the nation’s top four wireless carriers.  [click to continue…]

Forbes is looking for entrepreneurs for its Thirty Under 30 list, focusing on social entrepreneurs who are motivated by faith to change the world around them. MMTC is helping to spread the word and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to win $100,000. Forbes’s information on the entry process is below. Please help us spread the word!

Hello friends,

Do you know social entrepreneurs who are motivated by their faith and working with humility to change the world around them? Invite them to apply to the Forbes’ Under 30 Change the World Competition! Submissions are due no later than August 26.


With support from the John Templeton Foundation, Echoing Green and Values Partnerships are managing the “Faith Entrepreneur Prize” category of the Forbes Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition. We are looking for social entrepreneurs who are motivated by faith to change the world around them. Faith must be integral to their work and mission. The “Faith Entrepreneur Prize” is open to people of all faith traditions and backgrounds.


The winner of the Faith Entrepreneur Prize will receive $100,000 USD to support his/her organization. The Faith Entrepreneur Prize winner will then compete onstage at the Forbes Under 30 Summit on October 6th in Philadelphia with winners from six other program categories, in front of 2,000 world-class mentors and the best young entrepreneurs and game-changers in the world. The overall winner will receive a grand prize of at least $400,000 USD in additional cash and in-kind support, bringing their award total to at least $500,000 USD, and the overall award total to $1,000,000 USD.


The competition is designed for social entrepreneurs under 30 who have disruptive and scalable ideas that address global challenges. The funders of the other finalists are philanthropist Bob Duggan and the Case, Schusterman, Pratt, and Keywell Foundations.


Eligibility and Criteria


The Faith Entrepreneur Prize will reward a young leader who has created or provided transformative leadership to an organization that is changing the world around them. This person might have created an organization that could grow into the next World Vision, American Islamic Congress, Repair the World, International Justice Mission, Science for Monks and Interfaith Youth Core or has provided transformative senior leadership within an existing organization. While these examples are predominantly based in the U.S., applicants from around the world are welcome and eligible to apply.




Active social entrepreneurs who are under the age of 30 at the time of the competition (i.e., born after October 6, 1985) and are founders, co-founders, or top executives of their organizations.
Applicants from anywhere in the world (entry must be submitted in English).
Those who are actively engaged in a social enterprise—this is not a business plan contest, but one that will reward and accelerate those who are currently making a difference.
Only U.S. nonprofits, as well as organizations outside the U.S. that operate for charitable purposes [Note: this is different from the broader competition, which is open to both nonprofit and for-profit social entrepreneurs].
Must be able to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from October 5-6, 2015 for the Forbes’ Under 30 Summit.

How to Submit


Visit to read more and click Submit Entry or nominate a friend.


The application period is officially open! Submissions will be accepted until 11:59PM EST on August 26, 2015 but we encourage you to submit as soon as possible. The Templeton Foundation will announce the winner of the “Faith Entrepreneur Prize” on September 9, 2015, and the overall winner will be announced at the Forbes’ Under 30 Summit on October 6, 2015.

How can I help?


Nominate people using this link and spread the word about the competition far and wide using email and social media! Below are sample promotional materials to post on social media. Invite your community, congregations and networks to apply or recommend someone they know!


Sample Social Media Posts


Do you know a young leader of a faith-based nonprofit who is changing the world? Have them apply for the Forbes Under 30 $1 Million Change the World Competition! With support from the John Templeton Foundation, Echoing Green and Values Partnerships are facilitating a prize for faith entrepreneurs, as part of Forbes’ Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition, a global social impact challenge for young people with game-changing ideas. The winner of the Faith Entrepreneurship Prize will receive $100,000 cash and be eligible to compete for $400K more in cash and in-kind support. Visit the competition website to learn more—and be sure to apply by August 26: @HeroX @templeton_fdn


Are you a faith-based social entrepreneur having an impact in your community, your nation, or around the world? With support from the John Templeton Foundation, Echoing Green and Values Partnerships will manage a prize for faith entrepreneurs, as part of Forbes’ Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition, a global social impact challenge for young people with game-changing ideas. The winner of the Faith Entrepreneurship Prize will receive $100,000 cash and be eligible to compete for $400K more in cash and in-kind support. Visit the competition website to learn more—and be sure to apply by August 26: @HeroX @templeton_fdn


Calling all faith-based social entrepreneurs! Apply to win $100k for your org and appear on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list:


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Thanks for sharing, and best of luck to all who submit! We look forward to congratulating the winner!


Joshua DuBois and Scott Buckhout
Values Partnerships

Multicultural Entrepreneurs on Computers

This week, the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) will host a Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop focusing on private sector business opportunities for small-minority and women-owned businesses.
OCBO has invited representatives from telecommunications and technology firms from across the country to discuss their organizations’ contracting procedures and to provide insight on how small businesses should navigate the procurement process generally.

FCC Headquarters
Commission Meeting Room
445 12th Street, SW,Washington, D.C. on
Thursday, August 20, 2015
9:00 am – 4:30 pm 

The morning session runs from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and consists of a panel composed of supplier executives and diversity officers from some of the nation’s leading companies, including: Ed Roach, Cox Communications; L. Jay Burks, Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity, Comcast NBCUniversal; Natalie Robinson, Director of Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity, CBS Television Corp., Eugene Agee, Vice President, Supplier Diversity, Sprint; Alithia Bruinton, Supplier Diversity Manager, AT&T; Fernando Hernandez, Director of Supplier Diversity, Microsoft; and Sharon Pinder, President and CEO, Capital Region Minority Supplier Diversity Council.

Joining the supplier diversity officers on the panel are several suppliers to some of those companies, including Tonee Bel, President, A Unity System; Charles Harrell, President, The IT Architect Corporation; and others. The panelists will discuss their companies’ contracting needs and how small businesses can distinguish themselves in the race for lucrative opportunities. Thomas Reed, Director, OCBO, and Dr. Ronald Johnson, President, Solutions4Change, and Treasurer, MMTC, will co-moderate.


Following the morning panel session, from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, OCBO will coordinate one-on-one sessions between panelists and small business owners who wish to participate. In these confidential meetings, small business owners will get individualized advice on supplier strategies and information on current contracting opportunities. If you would like to register for the afternoon meetings, please submit a company profile no later than Friday, August 14, 2015, via email at or submit a hard copy to OCBO at 445 12th Street SW, Room 4-A635, Washington, D.C. 20554.


All persons interested in attending this informative event in person are asked to register by contacting OCBO at (202) 418-0990 or via e-mail at Persons interested in participating via the Internet may do so by logging on to


This event will be streamed live. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. The request should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and contact information. Please provide as much advance notice as possible; last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to or call the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), or 202-418-0432 (TTY).


You can also follow the FCC on Twitter at and on Facebook at